2016 Yunnan Sourcing “Wa Long Village” Yi Wu Old Arbor Raw

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
Bitter, Earth, Orange
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Caffeine
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Edit tea info Last updated by Rich
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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “My first YS tea. Somewhere between the hype, my cynicism and my tea snobbery, I have always been suspicious of Yunnan Sourcing. I have met many who rave about Scott and his site, but I could never...” Read full tasting note
    30
  • “I found this tea to be good, though not great. It is a zippy and zesty young sheng, with lemony undertones and light bitterness. The flavor on the whole fell kind of flat. Very strong in the...” Read full tasting note
    81

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2 Tasting Notes

30
16 tasting notes

My first YS tea.

Somewhere between the hype, my cynicism and my tea snobbery, I have always been suspicious of Yunnan Sourcing. I have met many who rave about Scott and his site, but I could never bring myself to buy any of his teas. A recent tea friend found out I had never tried YS and quickly sent me over three teas. This is a live review of the first one I tired, Old Arbor Yi Wu 2016.

As part of my tea snobbiness I am very particular about the use of old arbor/old tree. To me you can not begin to suggest pu er tree is old till the tree is around 200 years. While I cant accurately pin point the exact age of a given tree, one look at the leaves of this tea suggest the tree was quite young. The main indicator of age that I look for when judging pu er tea is the meatiness of the stem. As a tree gets older the branches that the leaves sit on get more thicker. Older trees have fuller thicker branches, while younger trees have stems like twigs. Right off the bat I noticed small twigs in this tea suggesting a younger tea. The leaves other were bitsy and broken up a bit, leaf size was not that consistent in size and on the smaller side for a pu er.

I am taking this tasting a little more seriously so I am using the three cup method. The shape of you cup can greatly affect the flavor of the tea. A while cup will spread the flavor out in your mouth allowing you to taste complexity, while a taller cup will focus the tea more and will enhance the aroma. I am using both style of cups as well as an in the middle traditional three sip cup this way I can see the tea from multiple angels. I am brewing in a 100ml porcelain gaiwan.

The smell of the first steep wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It smelled pretty clean, no funkiness, but there was no strong characteristics to the tea either. A taste from the three sip cup matched the aroma, not distinctly bad, but I couldn’t pick up any strong flavor notes. To clarify when I say no strong notes, what i really mean is no confident notes. Of course a tea can and should have subtle flavors, but even though they are subtle they should be confident. A tea can have a subtle blueberry note, but it should be clear it is blueberry. Often times, as is the case with this tea, a tea doesn’t really have any characteristics; its just kinda there. When I tasted the tea in the wide rim cup I was able to pick up on notes of prunes and sour plumbs. The after taste of this tea is somewhat drying and unpleasant.

The second brew provided a little more character in the aroma. To me it smelled like orange peel aged shou pu. (Which can also be described as orange peels and earthy, not a good sign for a young pu er). The taste of the second brew was well…bad. The pu er began bitter, but not is a characteristically bitter, was as you would see in a Bu Lang Shan, instead it was the type of all over your mouth lingering bitter that is a flaw. In total honesty, when I took another sip of this tea in an inhaled to airrate it, the taste got so bad I stopped and spat it out. It tasted like manure.

The third steep lost its aroma a bit, which I didn’t really mind. The smell still held that orangeness, the the earthiness and turned into aroma that while I couldn’t quiet place remind me a an amaro liqueur. More bitterness on the palate. This time there was a small fruitiness on the finish and the bitterness seemed to be more centered in the front of my mouth. There was also a dampness to the tea which reminded me of being on a porch during a rainy day. The tea leaves my mouth dry.

I tried to have another steep but after taking a sip I just stopped. This to me is the final test. Even when I can’t objectively tell which tea is good or not I can always tell by if I finish it. If I finished the tea that means I enjoyed it and it was good. This tea I can not finish.

This tea is the same has what I simply call the bad pu er flavor. Orange, earthy, bitter and unpleasant. It displays no unique characteristics of its terroir and might as well be from anywhere in Yunnan. Needless to say I am unhappy with this tea and would not suggest it.

The final flavor notes for this tea are: Manure, Earth, Orange, Amaro, Bitter.

Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Orange

mrmopar

The Qing Mei Shan, Da Si and the Ai Lao ones have a deeper depth. I have problems with Yiwu teas as they are a bit too subtle for me. I like ones that bite back.

Dylan Conroy

Me too, that’s why I love Bu Lang Shan

jschergen

I’ve worked through a sample of this tea and your review isn’t remotely accurate. Either you have a bad sample or something else is up…

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81
290 tasting notes

I found this tea to be good, though not great. It is a zippy and zesty young sheng, with lemony undertones and light bitterness. The flavor on the whole fell kind of flat. Very strong in the caffeine department.

Matu

I think I have a small sample of the 2015 version of this. Wonder if/how it differs.

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